Update September 25th, 1:40 p.m.: The Mountain West has signed a deal with Quest Diagnostics to handle all player testing.
It also appears Air Force will keep the Army and Navy games on their schedule, but might be limited by how many players will participate.
Air Force might play a six- or seven-game conference schedule. Keeping Army and Navy in the schedule was clearly a big deal for the Falcons.— Duke Ritenhouse (@RGJduke) September 25, 2020
MW commissioner Craig Thompson confirms "high 30s" number of Air Force players have taken a "turnback" and aren't available this season. @BrentBriggeman reports most of those players are on defense.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 25, 2020
And there are still issues for some conference schools, particularly Hawai’i and New Mexico.
Hawaii still has some steps to go and there have been discussions about those restrictions and New Mexico is in a similar situation w travel restrictions, Craig Thompson says. "We're optimistic, and hopefully, there'll be a resolution before Oct 24."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 25, 2020
With the Pac-12 deciding to return to football earlier today, their little brother out west has put their hat back in the ring for the calendar year 2020 as well.
The 12-team league might not have all competitors however, as Hawai’i will have particular challenges in a Covid-19 environment, and there are other states such as California and Nevada where major restrictions are still in place. But the presidents of the schools think they can play, and so they’re going to try.
Some quick math says you’re playing eight games starting October 24th and are planning for a championship game on December 19th, that means zero built-in bye weeks for teams. With the number of game cancelations we’ve seen this season, that might be ambitious at best.
Also the Air Force Falcons are scheduled to play Navy on October 3rd (that’s fine) and Army on Nov. 7 (now a problem)! Considering the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy is the prize the academies prize over any other, including a conference championship, we’ll see how this shakes out.
But we’re going to play football out west, and this decision leaves the Mid-American Conference as the only one still not playing college football. Their presidents have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.